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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3008 Posts

Posted - 04 May 2012 :  14:26:48  Show Profile  Visit Artemas Entreri's Homepage Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lol, which non-Realms Ed book did you read by mistake?

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

Check out my eBay store for great Realms/Dragonlance/Ravenloft/Dark Sun/etc series! http://stores.ebay.com/Remembered-Realms-and-Hobbies

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13111 Posts

Posted - 04 May 2012 :  16:31:01  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As much as I love the man, I will have to reluctantly admit you really need to be a 'Realms fan' to get the most out of Ed's writing.

In fact, when asked (usually by players) what I'd recommend they start with, I always say RAS novels. You have to lay a foundation before you start weighing folk down with the details. In other words, if you want to teach someone to fish, you don't bring them out in the ocean to go marlin-fishing first. You work up to it.

I had a similar problem when I first started reading the Majipoor books, but once I 'got into it', they were magical. In other cases, I felt the preponderance of the detail too much to bear (the Gormenghast novels, for instance). World-building is a tricky science, because if you do it too well, you can bore your readers.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 04 May 2012 16:32:32
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3008 Posts

Posted - 04 May 2012 :  16:45:20  Show Profile  Visit Artemas Entreri's Homepage Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I had a similar problem when I first started reading the Majipoor books, but once I 'got into it', they were magical. In other cases, I felt the preponderance of the detail too much to bear (the Gormenghast novels, for instance). World-building is a tricky science, because if you do it too well, you can bore your readers.



Totally agree. Authors need enough world building to make the setting appear realistic and well planned, while still leaving enough areas ambiguous so the readers can make it their own.

Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way. -Steve Martin

Check out my eBay store for great Realms/Dragonlance/Ravenloft/Dark Sun/etc series! http://stores.ebay.com/Remembered-Realms-and-Hobbies

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 05 May 2012 :  01:31:24  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by entreri3478

Lol, which non-Realms Ed book did you read by mistake?


Arch Wizard, Book II of the Falconfar Saga. There were a couple of interesting parts. But mostly, it's a bore.

Every beginning has an end.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 05 May 2012 :  01:38:57  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

As much as I love the man, I will have to reluctantly admit you really need to be a 'Realms fan' to get the most out of Ed's writing.

In fact, when asked (usually by players) what I'd recommend they start with, I always say RAS novels. You have to lay a foundation before you start weighing folk down with the details. In other words, if you want to teach someone to fish, you don't bring them out in the ocean to go marlin-fishing first. You work up to it.

I had a similar problem when I first started reading the Majipoor books, but once I 'got into it', they were magical. In other cases, I felt the preponderance of the detail too much to bear (the Gormenghast novels, for instance). World-building is a tricky science, because if you do it too well, you can bore your readers.


Nah. While we're eternally grateful to Ed for sharing to us such a wonderful world, FR lore grew not only because of his input, but because of others' as well. Saying one who does not like Ed's fiction is not a real Realms fan is utterly wrong.

As to world-building, it depends on several factors... Modesitt Jr.'s Recluse, for example, is filled with details, and his novels are peppered with so much details one might find 'unnecessary,' but he always weaves the story with enough fun that the reader can hardly notice the needless details.

Every beginning has an end.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31683 Posts

Posted - 05 May 2012 :  01:49:35  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

In fact, when asked (usually by players) what I'd recommend they start with, I always say RAS novels. You have to lay a foundation before you start weighing folk down with the details.
While I agree that laying the foundation for the Realms is very important for new readers, I don't agree with the fact that it should be a RAS novel that provides that introductory foundation. It's been my own experience with new Realms readers that both Spellfire and Swords of Eveningstar have proved to be just as beneficial when bringing new readers into Realms fiction. Simply, afterward, they want more!

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29643 Posts

Posted - 05 May 2012 :  05:09:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

As much as I love the man, I will have to reluctantly admit you really need to be a 'Realms fan' to get the most out of Ed's writing.

In fact, when asked (usually by players) what I'd recommend they start with, I always say RAS novels. You have to lay a foundation before you start weighing folk down with the details. In other words, if you want to teach someone to fish, you don't bring them out in the ocean to go marlin-fishing first. You work up to it.

I had a similar problem when I first started reading the Majipoor books, but once I 'got into it', they were magical. In other cases, I felt the preponderance of the detail too much to bear (the Gormenghast novels, for instance). World-building is a tricky science, because if you do it too well, you can bore your readers.



Nah. While we're eternally grateful to Ed for sharing to us such a wonderful world, FR lore grew not only because of his input, but because of others' as well. Saying one who does not like Ed's fiction is not a real Realms fan is utterly wrong.


I agree with what you're saying, Dennis, but I think Markus was saying something other than what you thought he said. I believe that what he's saying is that a non-Realms fan -- or only a casual afficianado -- wouldn't have the same appreciation for one of Ed's FR novels as someone who is well-versed in Realmslore.

To offer an analogy: you could offer me the best wine in the world, and I wouldn't appreciate it as much as a wine-lover, because I don't care for wine. I'm a beer drinker, and other than the single bottle of cider I have most weeknights, I don't drink much alcohol at all. A dedicated wine-lover, on the other hand, would truly appreciate that fine wine in a way I never could.

Edit: typo.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 05 May 2012 18:13:09
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13111 Posts

Posted - 05 May 2012 :  17:26:31  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the clarification, Wooly - spot on. I didn't say you had to like Ed's writing to be a fan. In fact, I wasn't a big fan of his books until after I became a die-hard Realms fan. He concentrates heavily on creating a realistic setting, and that can be distracting from the story.

As I said in my last post, world-building is hard to get 'just right' - its fairly easy to over-do it.

@Sage - I read the 'fixed' version of Spellfire, which according to Ed still wasn't perfect (it would have been twice as long if he was allowed to do everything he wanted). Maybe someday he can re-release it as a trilogy (5th edition?)

Thats not my favorite story by him - it felt too 'cinematic', and he even admits it was written to be flashy (with lots of cameos), because it was supposed to allow new fans to see a wide swath of the Realms all under one cover. Kind of a 'mad-rush, grand-tour' kind of thing. Still, he pulled it off admirably.

Sadly, I never read the follow-ups to Spellfire. Not because I didn't want to, but rather because I never really found them on the store shelves. Same goes for most Elaine's novels (which is either an indication of how good they are, or how badly the book-stores keep track of what they are ordering).

RAS novels, on the other hand, can be found everywhere, in large quantities. I've even found them at those small airport kiosks. So maybe folks read whats more readily available, hmmm? This new age of downloadable books may cause a shift in this paradigm.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 05 May 2012 21:05:15
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 06 May 2012 :  01:13:18  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

He concentrates heavily on creating a realistic setting, and that can be distracting from the story.


Disagreed. What distract (and disappoint) me are the countless pointless ramblings and the 'telling' of what would happen next instead of 'showing' it.

Every beginning has an end.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31683 Posts

Posted - 06 May 2012 :  02:21:14  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Thanks for the clarification, Wooly - spot on. I didn't say you had to like Ed's writing to be a fan. In fact, I wasn't a big fan of his books until after I became a die-hard Realms fan. He concentrates heavily on creating a realistic setting, and that can be distracting from the story.

As I said in my last post, world-building is hard to get 'just right' - its fairly easy to over-do it.

@Sage - I read the 'fixed' version of Spellfire, which according to Ed still wasn't perfect (it would have been twice as long if he was allowed to do everything he wanted). Maybe someday he can re-release it as a trilogy (5th edition?)

Thats not my favorite story by him - it felt too 'cinematic', and he even admits it was written to be flashy (with lots of cameos), because it was supposed to allow new fans to see a wide swath of the Realms all under one cover. Kind of a 'mad-rush, grand-tour' kind of thing. Still, he pulled it off admirably.
My desire to offer it as a suitable introduction of the Realms to new readers, is based more on the fact that Spellfire introduces many of the earliest examples of what would become the mainstays of Realms fiction -- journeying across a land full of ancient tales and ruins, fighting evil wizards, and encountering wondrous and fearful creatures.

I know and appreciate the same could be said of any Realms-novel, but Ed's earliest official works, just had something indefinably special about them, that made me feel like I was encountering a rich and unique world for the first time. Each little snippet served to draw me further in, and every little unexplained tidbit, potentially, was something I could possibly learn more about in future fiction.

That, for me at least, is what Ed's Realms are really all about.

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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2012 :  01:37:27  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Ultimately, it depends what one is looking for. A casual friend once asked me what 'gritty' FR novel I could recommend, and obviously, I could not and so did not recommend Ed's.

If one is not looking for something in particular, then that's the time I pick from my Favorites list. Or, depending on my mood and on who's asking for it, from my Hate List.

Every beginning has an end.
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The Arcanamach
Master of Realmslore

1582 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2013 :  15:24:34  Show Profile Send The Arcanamach a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I voted other because I like all of those mentioned on the list (that I've read anyways). But, I can find fault with all of them in one way or another as well as enjoy each of them for one reason or another. Stephen R. Donaldson isn't on the list but I enjoy his writing...when he's not getting too outlandish with his word usage (I've got a decent vocabulary but that guy actually makes me put the book down and look up definitions sometimes...very distracting).

George R.R. Martin is great, IMHO, but sometimes his plots are TOO dark/twisted/evil. And I hope he finishes his series before he kills over or something.

J.K. Rowling...very neutral with her work...actually liked the movies better than the books...and that's extremely rare for me.

I have a dream that one day, all game worlds will exist as one.
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 30 Dec 2013 :  22:47:33  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I voted 'other' because there is nobody on that list that I despise.

There area. Couple of authors on the list for which I haven't read anything, so I reserve the right to change my mind.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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Dr. Redwyrm
Acolyte

5 Posts

Posted - 14 Feb 2014 :  06:14:36  Show Profile Send Dr. Redwyrm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
R.A. Salvatore killed Chewbacca... Also I'd like to read something OTHER than a Drizzt story. I seriously don't know the appeal. I can't seriously be the only one out there who was done with this character after Icewind Dale right?

More Eberron books would be nice. Maybe like a cross Eberron/Reams story or something.

And do they even still write Greyhawk novels since Gygax died?



Hail Redwyrm!

Dr. Iram Redwyrm, Führer-Prismatic of the new Suel Confederacy

Edited by - Dr. Redwyrm on 14 Feb 2014 06:20:41
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Jeremy Grenemyer
Great Reader

USA
2717 Posts

Posted - 14 Feb 2014 :  07:38:25  Show Profile Send Jeremy Grenemyer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Redwyrm

R.A. Salvatore killed Chewbacca...
Well, to be fair to Salvatore it's worth noting that he didn't decide to kill off Chewbacca. He was hired to write a story where Chewbacca died. That decision was made by the people who hired him.

Look for me and my content at EN World (user name: sanishiver).
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Madpig
Learned Scribe

Finland
116 Posts

Posted - 14 Feb 2014 :  09:52:00  Show Profile Send Madpig a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do not hate any FR author. Everyone of them has had their moments. Only three of them who's work I have always loved are Erin, Eric and first and foremost Kemp. Every other has let me down at some point.

I do however kinda loath Tolkien, because i dont like Lotr too much. Movies were great, if you skipped Frodo parts and wached everything else.
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Vyrdallen
Acolyte

10 Posts

Posted - 15 Feb 2014 :  09:02:52  Show Profile Send Vyrdallen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I used to be really taken with the Sword of Truth series once upon a time, but there was a point at which I looked at it again with new eyes and turned away. Also Goodkind dared utter this idea that somehow he's "above" fantasy when his entire rise to any prominence is based upon a fantasy series.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13111 Posts

Posted - 15 Feb 2014 :  19:46:33  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sword of Truth was great at first, and then proceeded to go steadily downhill. His last book - The Law of Nines (which has a very loose tie-in to his SoT series) is set in the RW... and is absolutely dross. One of the few books I would gladly heap onto a fire.

Most of those 'never-ending series' are like that - they just go on for too damn long, and I just loose interest. Nobody's luck could possibly be that bad, where everything in the universe is just out to get you over and over again. Wheel of Time is another - I can't even read the final book, because I got totally lost around 10 or 11. When a series needs an entire chapter of 'who's who' at the back of the book, then there is a HUGE problem. Sadly, I just read the last book of the excellent Safehold series last night... and it had just that at the end. I can no longer keep track of all the events and characters in my head. I am still enjoying it, but I can see it going downhill from here as well.

Speaking of which - DRIZZT. I really do like RAS's writing, and I read everything (FR) he's written up 'till The Ghost King. I just have no interest in readng about Drizzt anymore, specially in a new century. He bores me to tears now (so I don't blame the writing, I blame the company that wants to keep beating that dead horse).

Stories are like cake... or icecream. Or any other 'treat' (take your pick). A little bit here and there is delicious, but if you just keep stuffing your face with it day-in and day-out, your going to grow to hate it. Thats what those endless series do - you get to the point where you are not even really enjoying it anymore; you just want it to end. Give Drizzt an epic death - he's earned it.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 15 Feb 2014 19:46:52
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Vyrdallen
Acolyte

10 Posts

Posted - 15 Feb 2014 :  20:43:21  Show Profile Send Vyrdallen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
See, I don't terribly mind length of a series. I don't even necessarily mind that a long running series constantly has problems. When the problems always have the same ultimate underlying cause, that's when it gets old. That's why I didn't particularly care about Krynn past the initial run of novels because their gods are always gone every time a person turns around.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13111 Posts

Posted - 16 Feb 2014 :  16:35:05  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah... I heard Krynn gods have a strong union.

I don't mind sub-plots; thats what makes a series/setting feel so real. I don't even mind when subplots start to develop their own subplots. But when the sub-sub-plots start to develop sub-sub-plots, and a host character names all start to blur together, and you don't even know where you are anymore (geographically), then it starts to become a convoluted mess.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Firestorm
Senior Scribe

Canada
789 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2014 :  03:02:22  Show Profile Send Firestorm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Stephen King - he's a hack.

IMHO, of course.

Another on the list jumped immediately to mind, but I realized I love his writing, despite his inability to ever come to any conclusion in a half-milion sub-plots.

And now never will, so I will leave it at that.

RAS grates on my nerves, but I can't deny his talent. I was never able to get past the first chapter or so of Shanarra, but I have a hard time hating an author I have barely read. He just bores me, and that's not the same as hate. I used to love Terry Goodkind, but now I am ambivalent - he got too preachy... but that still isn't hate.

I think all of them - despite how well I like them personally - are good story-tellers, except for SK - I just don't understand why anyone likes him (I think the spoof Family Guy did gets the point across).



I dislike Stephen king's style of writing. But I cannot deny he puts together some incredibly good stories. The sheer amount of movies based on his books I love alone tells me that. The Stand, 1408, The Langoliers, It, Shawshank redemption, The shining, Stand by me, Firestarter, The Green Mile, Silver bullet.....

I long ago came to terms with the fact that I hate his writing style, but for some reason, love his movie adaptation.

Robert Jordan did us right with Sanderson finishing his series. The last 3 books were AMAZING.

I dislike GRRM because he has stopped writing most of the time to interact with fans and go to football games(Silly thing to complain about, but....). I hate reading his blogs. I always check to see for the next book and run into entries like "I wrote 2 pages today. Most I have written in a month all year(6 freaking years I read that before he finally put out a book). Went to 15 book signings this month to chat with my adoring fans and a bunch of football games."

Grrrrrr. He is neither young, nor in good health and he has explicitly stated he will not do as Jordan did and let someone else finish his books. He stated he would rather leave us all in the dark than have someone mess with his world.

On some levels, I understand it, but on others, he has fallen in love with his fame.

I liked Goodkind's first 4 books in sword of truth. I HATED a lot of the middle books, but I liked the final 3 "chainfire" books, as I felt it wrapped the series up nicely. I disliked the first of his new Richard/Kahlan books and have not yet read the 2nd.

As for RAS books, I loved his first batch right up until servant of the shard. I felt "meh" over sea of swords and the Orc trilogy, as it got repetitive and the Orc King continued that. Pirate king was a major disappointment to me and Ghost king I enjoyed on some levels, but hated on others. Gauntlrgrym was my favorite of his latest books, as he finally took mr goodie two shoes in a grey direction. I like the element of Artemis and Drizzt becoming closer in the new books, but disliked them on most other levels. Drizzt fell right back into goodie two shoes, and the companions did not do it for me. Night of the hunter on the other hand, was my favorite Drow related read in a long time.
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
525 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2014 :  02:19:40  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Tolkien was my introduction to modern fantasy - I find it impossible to hate him. I read The Hobbit at 13 and was hooked. Then LotR, then Narnia, etc...

Before that I was just a Mythology Buff and Scify fan (I went to the very first ST convention in NY back in '75). Once I discovered Fantasy I was hooked.

You can't hate a guy for giving you a lifetime of great memories.



Hey me too!! The Hobbit was among the first books I ever read and it was my hook into sci-fi/fantasy. I went straight from The Hobbit to Dragonlance then to the Realms when [i] Pools of Radiance [i] came out.
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
525 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2014 :  02:25:36  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Redwyrm

R.A. Salvatore killed Chewbacca... Also I'd like to read something OTHER than a Drizzt story. I seriously don't know the appeal. I can't seriously be the only one out there who was done with this character after Icewind Dale right?

More Eberron books would be nice. Maybe like a cross Eberron/Reams story or something.

And do they even still write Greyhawk novels since Gygax died?



Hail Redwyrm!



RAS now grates on me. I simply can't read anything beyond the Thousand Orcs series and I had to make myself get through those.

What's sad is that he DOES have MANY other excellent characters in FR that he should be writing more books about (such as Jarlaxle).

But he's simply run his course, in terms of gripping reading.

I however do disagree with some folks on Ed Greenwood. My wife had never even heard of Forgotten Realms, and did not read fantasy fiction and the Elminster books were her first read. Hooked for life. He has a certain style and that's what makes his books great. IMO that style best portrays the spirit of the Realms (high fantasy, ironic humor, incredible magic, etc).

The Gord the Rogue novels are among the best fantasy fiction ever written in any setting.
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Drustan Dwnhaedan
Learned Scribe

USA
323 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2014 :  03:09:40  Show Profile Send Drustan Dwnhaedan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There really aren't in authors that I hate, per se. I could explain in detail but I'll just quote the Sage on this;

quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I don't despise any of the authors on this list. Some I've never read, some I won't read again...
Since I'm a amateur practising wordsmith myself, I'm uncomfortable with the notion of assigning any level of dislike to any author.

Certainly, there are authors whose works I will likely never read again -- for various and myriad reasons that I will not express here. They're personal decisions based on actions and/or conduct taken by these authors -- either through their works, or from commentary made in the real-world -- that have made me reconsider how I relate to them. But that's not to say that I'd "hate" them as a result of their craft.

I admire any author who can achieve what they set out to accomplish when they put pen to paper.



Basically, it doesn't feel right to me to hate any author, since I'm trying to become an author myself. Actually, that's not entirely true; I really hate my own writing. (Mostly because I'm a really, really bad writer. The fact that, like most men, I have more hormones than brains, and this tends to... affect the direction my writing takes doesn't help.)

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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2014 :  13:41:47  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Grenemyer

quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Redwyrm

R.A. Salvatore killed Chewbacca...
Well, to be fair to Salvatore it's worth noting that he didn't decide to kill off Chewbacca. He was hired to write a story where Chewbacca died. That decision was made by the people who hired him.


Thats true, unfortunately thanks to the backlash from the fans we never did get anymore more RAS books in the EU.
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